Ignite: Managing Woods for Woodfuel


Event Details

This course focuses on planting, managing and harvesting woodlands for use as woodfuel.  What timber is suited to what type of woodfuel (logs or chips), assessing woodlands, measuring timber, harvesting, extraction, conversion and the economic modelling of timber harvesting and woodfuel conversion are covered in this one day course.

The course is ideally suited to smaller undermanaged and unmanaged blocks of woodland and will help you to assess the viability of bringing them back into management for woodfuel production.

“Really useful, great instructor, easy to understand.”  “Excellent, worthwhile and informative.”

Course Cost:  £35+VAT (with funding*), £175+VAT (without funding)

The above cost includes Lantra Awards registration and certification, all course materials, refreshments, lunch and post course mentoring (via telephone or e-mail).

For further information or to book a place, please contact Janet Rowlands on 01597 810306 or janet@mwmac.co.uk.

*  Funding may be available through Forestry Commission Wales.  Please check with Janet for eligibility criteria.


Morning Sessions

Session 1 – Welcome and Introduction

Session 2 – Management Systems

This session includes a general introduction to woodland types and the management regimes that can be applied to these woodland types.  We introduce the concept of the common silvicultural systems used in UK forestry and particularly those used for small, unmanaged and undermanaged woodlands.

Session 3 – Crop Assessment

This session introduces the methods behind assessing woodlands in terms of suitability for the different management systems that can be applied.  We look at techniques for measuring standing timber for volume assessments using the abbreviated tarriffing technique, and go on to discuss timber qualities and what may constitute timber that could go to non woodfuel markets (such as sawlogs and fencing grade material) and what is more suited to woodfuel markets.

Afternoon Sessions

The afternoon will be made up of practical site visits including in-forest timber measurements and a visit to local woodlands.  This will then be followed by two further sessions which will include a final exercise that will combine all of the day’s information.

Session 4 – Harvesting and Extraction

This session introduces the common harvesting and extraction techniques, machinery and equipment in use in the UK today and what situations they are best applied to.  It covers motor manual and mechanised harvesting techniques and the many different types of timber extraction system.

Session 5 – Conversion

This session looks at how timber felled and extracted can then be processed into woodfuel, focusing on firewood and woodchip production.  We discuss timber quality and how this affects the woodfuel product chosen, and indeed its quality, and we look at moisture content and its effect on energy content.  Finally, we cover seasoning techniques and production methods.

General Information

Throughout the course participants are encouraged to contribute their own experience either of woodfuel or of other aspects of renewable to the course. There is a lively, good humoured atmosphere at courses, where participants can discuss issues of particular relevance or interest to themselves and the group within the framework of the course.

The course is accredited by Lantra Awards under their Customised Award provision.

Lunch and all refreshments will be provided.  Trainees should bring a waterproof coat and boots as we will be leaving the confines of the classroom!

For content or technical enquiries please contact Will Richardson on 01765 609355 or at will.richardson@ruraldevelopment.org.uk.

Ignite is a series of training courses on the production and supply of woodfuel.  The series includes the award winning 3 day Ignite: Woodfuel Production and Supply intensive course that provides a customised award from Lantra Awards.  Ignite courses have been developed and are run by Rural Development Initiatives Ltd.